CAIRNS-based Vocational Partnerships Group (VPG) is one of 11 organisations around the country that will lead the way in helping young people and early school leavers become work ready, says Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch.
The announcement, part of the first round of the Australian Government’s Transition to Work programme, means that the VPG service will start by the end of this month.
“We’re not prepared to stand by while a generation of young Australians remain without gainful employment,” said Mr Entsch.
“The best form of welfare is a job, and the Coalition is committed to ensuring that every young Australian who can work is able to find work.
“This is a fantastic initiative and will make sure that young people aged 15-21 in our region get intensive support from community-based organisations who have the know-how and experience in helping young people to develop work skills,” said Mr Entsch.
In Cairns, VPG are experienced in working with young people who face greater barriers to entering the workforce. The Transition to Work programme will be delivered through personalised services that will provide assistance with vocational skills development, purchase training, interview training and career advice.
“Evidence shows that young people who leave school early are most at risk of becoming unemployed long-term, and this service will provide intensive support to help them move into work or re-engage with education,” said Mr Entsch.
The service commences this month in seven employment regions, which were selected on the basis of high need – North and North Western Tasmania; Darwin and Alice Springs; Perth South; Adelaide North; Barwon in Victoria; Far West Orana in New South Wales; and Cairns.
The $322 million Transition to Work service is one in a range of Federal Government services to help young people get into work, including:
• Empowering YOUth Initiative to support young people at risk of welfare dependency into work through innovative ideas that offer a different approach to those currently available;
• Engaging Early School Leavers initiative which strengthens requirements for young job seekers aged 15-21 years who haven’t completed Grade 12 to continue their education or look for work to receive the Youth Allowance;
• Work for the Dole, part of jobactive, which helps people aged 18 and over gain the skills they need to become work-ready and make a contribution to their local community;
• National Work Experience Programme which aims to build confidence and real-life work experience for job seekers through unpaid work experience with businesses, not-for-profit and Government organisations;
• Job Commitment Bonus which provides up to $65,00 to encourage Australians aged 18 to 30 who have been on certain income support payments for 12 months or more, to find a job, keep it and stay off welfare.
For more information on the Transition to Work programme, visit www.employment.gov.au/youth